Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NARES, Sir George Strong, explorer, born in Monmouthshire, England, in 1831. He was educated at the Royal naval college, New Cross, England, served on the Australian station, was mate on the "Resolute" in the arctic expedition of 1852-'4, and was a courageous sledge-traveller in the spring of 1853, making 665 miles in 69 days, and 586 miles in 56 days during the next march. He subsequently served in the Crimea and on the Mediterranean station, in charge of cadet ships, was promoted commander in 1854, and from that date till 1875 was on foreign surveying service. In the latter year he left England in command of an expedition to reach the north pole. The fleet arrived in Lady Franklin bay on 27 August. It consisted of two ships, the "Alert" and the "Discovery." The latter was left in winter-quarters, and the " Alert," in command of Nares, continued her course along the western shore of Robeson channel until 1 September, when she attained latitude 82º 27', the highest that had been made. The explorers defined the character of the great polar sea, and made important hydrographical, meteorological, tidal, magnetic, and electric observations. After the return of daylight in 1876 sledging expeditions were sent out, and on 12 May the British flag was planted at latitude 83º 10' 26" N. From this point there was no appearance of land, but the depth of the water was only 72 fathoms. The expedition then set sail for England, arriving at Valentia, Spain, in October, 1876. Nares was made a K. C. B. for his services, and in 1878 again commanded the " Alert" in a two-years' cruise in the South Pacific. He has published "The Naval Cadet's Guide " (London, 1860) ; "Reports on Ocean Soundings" (6 parts, 1874-'5); "The Official Report of the Arctic Expedition" (1876) ; and "Narrative of a Voyage to the Polar Sea, during 1875-'6, in H. M. Ships 'Alert' and ' Discovery'" (2 vols., 1878).
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